Friday, February 13, 2009

Some post-trip thoughts about Shanbei


It's a poor area, filled with yaodongs and cheap taxis (meters start at six RMB, compared with 10 in Beijing and 11 in Shanghai). The Internet bars are always full -- over-full when I was there due to holiday break -- because there aren't enough people with money to open Internet bars and not enough other things for youngsters to do. It's very much a backwater sort of place, with poor roads and even poorer traffic laws (our driver pulled some pretty ridiculous stunts, sometimes aided by a police siren (and lights) he'd sometimes flick on; no, he was not in any way associated with law enforcement).

Shanbei (Northern Mountains) is a place where, like in most of China's provinces, the local leaders run things like a dignified mafia family. As one of my hosts mentioned, he has to give tributes of upwards of 1,000 RMB to county leaders every spring festival, and not just county leaders but organizations, bureaus, etc. These in turn give money to the deputy governor, who passes it on up to the governor himself -- the same cheery, charismatic guy who sat with us for many-a-meals. It's a good strategy for keeping the rich and powerful on top while ensuring a lack of checks and balances. What's the net effect? The impoverished staying impoverished, even if, as my dad is fond of saying, their conditions are "at least better than they were." (Which is, of course, sort of like saying taking sips of gasoline is less dangerous than gulping it.)

Of course, they endure. That is what I love about not just the Chinese character but the human one in general: people have a way of enduring hardship and prospering, finding contentment, building their own little slices of paradise, however modest by our standards. They welcome us with their bread, wild roots and fine-corn porridge. We only offer our heartfelt thanks in return.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

仓储货架|仓库货架|托盘|仓储笼 仓储货架|仓库货架|托盘|仓储笼 仓储货架|仓库货架|托盘|仓储笼 仓储货架|仓库货架|托盘|仓储笼 轻型仓储货架|轻量型仓库货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 中量型仓储货架|中量A型仓库货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 中量型仓储货架|中量B型仓库货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 横梁式仓库货架|重型仓储货架|货位式库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 模具货架|抽屉式仓库货架|仓储货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 贯通式仓储货架|通廊式仓库货架|驶入式库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 悬臂式仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 阁楼式仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架|钢平台 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 流利式仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架|辊轮式货架|自滑式货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 工作台|工作桌 工具柜|工具车 托盘|塑料托盘|钢托盘|铁托盘|钢制托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼 周转箱|塑料周转箱 静音手推车|铁板手推车|购物手推车|登高车 手动液压托盘搬运车|不锈钢搬运车|电子秤搬运车 高起升搬运车|电动搬运车|平台车 手动液压堆高车|手动液压堆垛车|半电动堆垛车 全电动堆垛车|油桶搬运车|圆桶搬运车|油桶装卸车| 柴油内燃平衡重式叉车|电动平衡重式叉车 液压升降机|剪叉式高空作业平台|固定式蹬车桥 文件柜 不锈钢制品 零件盒|零件柜 折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼 钢托盘 钢制料箱 堆垛架 物流台车 手推车 钢托盘 折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼 钢托盘|钢制托盘|铁托盘|金属托盘|镀锌托盘 堆垛架|巧固架 钢制料箱 物流台车|载物台车 手推车|静音手推车 手推车|静音手推车 仓储笼|钢托盘|钢制料箱|堆垛架|物流台车|手推车 仓储笼|钢托盘 仓储笼